On The Lookout For Dolphins

Bill Stimpson & Michelle Stimpson_Florida

Part of following your joy is about being still. When we’re busy and racing through life, we miss all kinds of opportunity for joy. I notice that the more I am “still,” the more I see all kinds of things around me that bring me joy…things that I might not have noticed otherwise.

A great example of this is from a few years ago when Bill and I were privileged guests at our friends’ beautiful beachfront condo in Florida. Before we left for our stay at the condo, our friends told us to pay attention and watch for the dolphins: “They’re out there all the time,” they said.

So during our visit, Bill and I watched and we waited. Not a moment went by that we didn’t stare out to sea, hoping for a glimpse of a smiling porpoise dancing in the waves.

Instead, though, throughout the week we were delighted with pelicans traveling in groups of two or three soaring past our sixth floor deck; herons walking along the low tide hunting for bugs; crabs scurrying down the shell-laden beach; lizards making their way across the pool pavement; and seagulls allowing the ocean breeze to carry them high in the sky.

Oh, how we would have loved for dolphins to round out this wildlife experience!

It was time

On our 10th and final day of vacation, Bill and I took a brisk walk along the beach and came back up to the room and made breakfast to eat out on the deck. For whatever reason, this was the morning that felt right. It was 10:30, and the air was HOT, and the humidity fogged up our sunglasses instantly and created thick condensation on our rapidly melting ice water.

Bill Stimpson & Michelle Stimpson_Florida

As usual, we looked out to sea for that chance dolphin sighting. Earlier, we had the idea to meditate on the deck and “invite” the dolphins to visit us. So we did. After we finished our breakfast, we pushed our dishes aside and moved over to the two-seated glider, which faced the ocean directly head-on. We sat in a spot where our only view was the water ahead; we were close enough to the ocean—and high enough—that we could simply focus on the waves and on the horizon.

Our invitation

We both sat still, closed our eyes, and focused on relaxation and peacefulness through deep breathing to calm and quiet our minds. Our intention was to become grounded and centered, connect with nature and with the earth, and become one with the bigger picture of life and of the universe. Together, we imagined dolphins playing in the ocean and remembered that we are “one” with them…all a part of something bigger. So we invited the dolphins to come.

And they came.

Right straight out in front of our deck—they played and they danced and they swam.

“There’s one!”

“There’s another one!”

“And there’s three together!”

“And look over there!”

They lingered in the water and rode the waves. Their smooth jumps out of the water were almost like a “How you doin’?” to us. We were in awe. In this 100-degree heat index weather, we had goose bumps.

Dolphins as teachers

Bill reminded me to send my love and appreciation in return to them, so the prayer I said was “Thank you.” Thank you for teaching us to play. Thank you for reminding us to smile. Thank you for showing us how to have fun.

And the dolphins stayed and hung out and allowed us to witness that other side of life; what life can be like if we only dare to create it in that playful way.

Down below on the beach, families, sunbathers, and joggers stopped what they were doing to watch the show that was going on just beyond the swimming area. And from high up on our deck, Bill and I quietly observed nature’s beauty and gave thanks for the reminder of the powerful, universal connection that we are all a part of. And I don’t know of anything more joyful than that.

I’m so glad we took the time that morning to be quiet and still…and invite the joy to come.

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12 Responses to “On The Lookout For Dolphins”

  • Bill says:

    Wow – I just got goose bumps, again, reliving the experience in my mind! There is so much "magic" available to all of us…we just have to ask and believe.

  • Hi Michelle, what an extraordinary experience! I love it that you thanked the dolphins for making their appearance. I will keep that in mind the next time nature "wows" me–when doesn't it? Thank you for sharing this experience!

  • Wendy says:

    Thank you for sharing your life, your loves, your joys and your blog. Wishing you a joyful day!

  • Lori says:

    What a wonderful story! I felt very peaceful when I read it. :)

  • Oh my gosh, that story is incredible! Every word had me riveted, and touched my soul deeply. What a glorious experience to have not only for yourself, but to share with your husband! So much love there… I'm grateful I read your words today.

  • Cassie says:

    Knowing first hand of your childhood love of dolphins, this is a very special story that resonates deeply. I must say that I was having a very stressful day so I popped on to your blog to read your latest entry. By the time I reached the end of the story I was smiling and felt completely at peace. Thank you, my friend!

  • Anonymous says:

    Michelle, it was wonderful to hear that story again. I enjoyed reading and imagining the beach and ocean.

  • Sharon says:

    Awesome! ……….and that is something that I don't always remember to do …"thank the teachers"!!! so, thank you , Michelle for reminding me to do that!! goose bumps again! love, sharon :)

  • Connie says:

    What a cool blog! Now, I'm going to go the "funny" route with all the seriousness :) I was afraid when I first saw the title….thought maybe Bill and Joe would have had their picture on here from back during our cruise days! "Joe….do the dolphin!"…….

    Thanks again for sharing these awesome stories….I love them!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I just read this latest post…good stuff! Please keep 'em coming!

  • Thanks, everyone, for sharing in the joy of the magnitude of this experience! It was so incredibly powerful and a great reminder of that "connection" and love we all share. And Connie, of course your comment is cracking me up and taking me back to the island of Guadaloupe! :)

  • We just came back from our honeymoon in Hawaii, and saw dolphins…and I never would have seen them if I hadn’t relaxed into the moment.

    We were kayaking across Keleakekua Bay, and going really slowly because my wife had never kayaked before, and because she really likes to stop and take pictures. I swallowed my impatience (or rather, let it go), and vowed to be in the moment.

    Eventually, we saw dolphins jumping up in the air (spinning), and then later, a group of 5 surfacing, then 10, then 5, and on and on and on…eventually, we saw dozens (or the same ones over and over).

    When we reached our destination at the snorkeling spot across the bay, we asked others there who had seen dolphins. Most hadn’t, and those who had, only saw a few.

    Going slow, and being in the moment, is the way to go!



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Michelle Stimpson: Editor/Writer

Michelle Stimpson Hi and thanks for visiting - so glad you're here! This blog is especially for cool people who want to experience joy and live a life of purpose. Welcome!

Here you'll find great stories that will inspire you and remind you that life is good, and there's an abundance of joy all around us. Simply put: When you follow the things in life that make you come alive and bring you joy...the magic begins to unfold.

Start by checking out the "Best Of" page and be sure to consider subscribing above. Thank you and cheers to joy!

Michelle Joy Stimpson
Executive Editor & Writer
Life Coach, LifeShine

Bill Stimpson: Partner-In-Crime

Bill Stimpson Hi! Not only will you see me “show up” in many of Michelle’s stories and posts here, but I also serve as Michelle’s editor, helping her clarify intentions and make her posts shine.

One of the great joys in my life is being involved with this blog! It’s a constant reminder for me to focus on the things that bring me joy. It also feels great to be sharing so many of these joys with you - in hopes that you, too, will find ways to focus on your own joyful experiences.

Here's to an abundance of joy in your life!

Bill Stimpson
Hubby & Associate Editor

The Parent Company

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